Late Season Snowstorms
Late-season snowstorms and cold temperatures had us scurrying to bring in harvest for our farmer/chef dinner benefiting Northwest Harvest this week at the amazing Lark Restaurant in Seattle.
Similar to the end of February in 2011, flakes continued to fall and blanket our fields in the late evenings with a beautiful snowy landscape amidst a sliver of a moon. We worked hard to get everything in: baby red beets, baby green and purple kale, hardy leeks and sunchokes. All of our winter crops have had a cooler, snowier season, but are still deliciously sweet and strong in flavor.
A promise of spring twinkles through as a cheerful little patch of tulips has come up by the barn and although the snow has not fully disappeared, signs of spring have sprung in many ways. The forecast still calls for lots of grey and rain, but as our days are longer and the birds and frogs louder, we are hopeful.
In the next few days, we will finish our annual cleaning out of the greenhouses and any last minute fixes to the irrigation system inside them. It is imperative to make sure they are all in good working order and have been sanitized from the previous growing season to ensure that no molds carry over. Our greenhouse irrigation is comprised with timer overhead sprinklers homemade and engineered by Farmer Andy and perfected over the last 20 years. They have been formulated to distribute the precise release and delivery of water to the seeds and transplants in the trays for all stages of growth. The seeds only need a little moisture on top to germinate and then as they develop will need sufficient amounts to keep them healthy, but not too much as this leaches out nutrients leaving them vulnerable.
Each crop has its own very special volume. For example, brassicas and lettuces will require more frequent watering as they grow very quickly compared to parsley or celeriac, which are slow growing and need less. As daylight increases and the temperatures rise, there is a constant dance and shuffle to make sure the plants are in their perfect watering zone. As we start out in early spring, the greenhouses are always the most popular job – warm, bright and full of beautiful veggie starts!
Enjoy your box this week! – Wendy